Acts 17:22-34 The Message (MSG)
I love home-cooked food or to use a common idiom “stuff made from scratch.” Not that I don’t enjoy going out to dinner occasionally, but there is just something about planning, making something from basic ingredients, and eating food at home with loved ones. Mother used to say, “Mary, good smells coming from the kitchen make a house a home.” However, here is a thought to ponder: if we are going to make food completely from scratch, we are going to have to first create the heavens and the earth. I can’t do it, but feel free to give it a try.
Well, God made the heavens and earth and all things in it completely from scratch for the purpose of creating a home to inhabit. In the beginning, he made the earth hospitable for his human children to enjoy, provided food for eternal life, and looked forward to sharing it with each one of his loved ones. Where are all his human worshipers—his loved ones—who should be filled with gratitude at his amazing gesture of extravagant love? Some are ignorant, lost, and refuse to seek the Creator; the god they do not know and a home they do not believe exists. Many who know better still reject their Creator and worship worldly idols rather than obediently bowing to God and his design for life that promises one an eternal home. The wise are seeking his face, receiving his merciful salvation, and growing spiritually stronger by grace through faith waiting for the call to come home (2 Tim 2:1). Worship the God who created you and knows you; who made you from scratch or from the beginning. Be determined to find him, as well as know him and his heart for your life. It is the way to life eternal—home.
22-23 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30-31 “God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for creating the human race and this amazingly beautiful world from scratch. I seek you, want to know you, and long for you to inhabit my heart as your home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.